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out thence by the wings, and bait them thus upon the hook. We first take one (for we commonly fish with two of them at a time), and putting the point of the hook into the thickest part of his body, under one of his wings, run it directly through, and out at the other side, leaving him spitted cross upon the hook; and then taking the other, put him on after the same manner, but with his head the contrary way; in which posture they will live upon the hook, and play with their wings, for a quarter of an hour, or more: but you must have a care to keep their wings dry, both from the water, and also that your fingers be not wet when you take them out to bait them, for then your bait is spoiled.
Having now told you how to angle with this fly alive, I am now to tell you next how to make an artificial fly, that will so perfectly resemble him, as to be taken in a rough windy day, when no flies can lie upon the water, nor are to be found about the banks and sides of the river, to a wonder; and with which you shall certainly kill the best trout and grayling in the river.
The artificial green-drake, then, is made upon a large hook, the dubbing, camel's hair, bright bear's hair, the soft down that is combed from a hog's bristles, and yellow camlet, well mixed together; the body long, and ribbed about with green silk, or rather yellow, waxed with green wax; the whisks of the tail, of the long hairs of sables, or fitchet; and the wings, of a white-grey feather of a mallard, dyed yellow, which is also to be dyed thus:
Take the root of a barbary tree, and shave it, and put to it woody viss, with as much alum as a walnut, and boil your feathers in it with rain water; and they will be of a very fine yellow.
I have now done with the green-drake, excepting to tell you, that he is taken at all hours during his season, whilst there is any day upon the sky; and with a made-fly I once took, ten days after he was absolutely gone, in a cloudy day, after a shower, and in a whistling wind, five-and-thirty very great trouts and graylings, betwixt five and eight of the clock in the evening, and had no less than five or six flies, with three good hairs a-piece, taken from me in despite of my heart, besides.
12. I should now come next to the stone-fly, but there is another
The Pike Pool
gentleman in my way, that must of necessity come in between, and that is the gray-drake, which in all shapes and dimensions is perfectly the same with the other, but quite almost of another colour, being of a paler and more livid yellow and green, and ribbed with black quite down his body, with black shining wings, and so diaphanous and tender, cob-web like, that they are of no manner of use for daping; but come in, and are taken after the green-drake, and in an artificial fly kill very well; which fly is thus made, the dubbing of the down of a hog's bristles, and black spaniel's fur, mixed, and ribbed down the body with black silk, the whisks of the hairs of the beard of a black cat, and the wings of the black-grey feather of a millard.
And now I come to the stone-fly; but I am afraid I have already wearied your patience, which if I have, I beseech you freely tell me so, and I will defer the remaining instructions for fly angling till some other time.
VIAT. No, truly, sir, I can never be weary of hearing you: but you think fit, because I am afraid I am too troublesome, to refresh yourself with a glass, and a pipe, you may afterwards proceed, and I shall be exceedingly pleased to hear you.
PISC. I thank you, sir, for that motion; for, believe me, I am dry with talking here, boy, give us here a bottle and a glass; and, sir, my service to you, and to all our friends in the south.
VIAT. Your servant, sir, and I'll pledge you as heartily; for the good powdered beef I eat at dinner, or something else, has made me thirsty.
IAT. So, sir, I am now ready for another lesson, so soon as you please to give it me.
PISC. And I, sir, as ready to give you the best I can. Having told you the time of the stone-fly's coming in, and that he is bred of a cadis in the very river where he is taken, I am next to tell you that,
13. This same stone-fly has not the patience to continue in his crust, or husk, till his wings be full grown; but so soon as ever they begin to put out, that he feels himself strong (at which time we call him a jack), squeezes himself out of prison, and crawls to the top of some stone, where, if he can find a chink that will receive him, or can creep betwixt two stones, the one lying hollow upon the other (which, by the way, we also lay so purposely to find them), he there lurks till his wings be full grown, and there is your only place to find him (and from thence doubtless he derives his name), though, for want of such convenience, he will make shift with the hollow of a
bank, or any other place where the wind cannot come to fetch him off. His body is long, and pretty thick, and as broad at the tail almost as in the middle; his colour a very fine brown, ribbed with yellow, and much yellower on the belly than the back; he has two or three whisks also at the tag of his tail, and two little horns upon his head; his wings, when full grown, are double, and flat down his back, of the same colour, but rather darker than his body, and longer than it, though he makes but little use of them; for shall rarely see him flying, though often swimming, and paddling with several feet he has under his belly, upon the water, without stirring a wing: but the drake will mount steeple-high into the air, though he is to be found upon flags and grass, too, and indeed everywhere, high and low, near the river; there being so many of them in their season, as, were they not a very inoffensive insect, would look like a plague; and these drakes (since I forgot to tell you before, I will tell you here) are taken by the fish to that incredible degree, that, upon a calm day, you shall see the still deeps continually all over circles by the fishes rising, who will gorge themselves with those flies, till they purge again out of their gills; and the trouts are at that time so lusty and strong, that one of eight or ten inches long, will then more struggle, and tug, and more endanger your tackle, than one twice as big in winter; but pardon this digression.
This stone-fly then, we dape or dibble with, as with the drake, but with this difference, that whereas the green-drake is common both to stream and still, and to all hours of the day, we seldom dape with this but in the streams (for in a whistling wind a made-fly in the deep is better), and rarely, but early and late, it not being so proper for the midtime of the day; though a great grayling will then take it very well in a sharp stream, and here and there, a trout too; but much better towards eight, nine, ten, or eleven of the clock at night, at which time also the best fish rise, and the later the better, provided you can see your fly; and when you cannot, a made-fly will murder, which is to be made thus: the dubbing of bear's dun, with a little brown and yellow camlet very well mixed, but so placed that your fly may be more yellow on the belly and towards the tail, underneath, than in any other part; and you are to place two or three hairs of a black cat's